Grey Duck Breeding Programme

General birdwatching discussion, help with bird identification, and all other things relating to wild birds and birding in NZ that don't fit in one of the other forums.
User avatar
Adam C
Posts: 97
Joined: Mon May 30, 2011 8:58 am

Grey Duck Breeding Programme

Postby Adam C » Sat Dec 29, 2018 3:43 pm

I think this may have been covered before but what is DOCs stance on protecting any remaining Grey Duck. Is there any programme in place to capture any remaining 99% pure birds and start a captive breeding programme on offshore islands or are they just too impossible to stop when it comes to cross breeding with mallards thus rendering the idea a bit pointless. It seems nuts to me that this duck is possibly an extinct bird and yet gets very little attention.
“Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.”

Samuel Ullman
User avatar
Adam C
Posts: 97
Joined: Mon May 30, 2011 8:58 am

Re: Grey Duck Breeding Programme

Postby Adam C » Sat Dec 29, 2018 3:52 pm

I think Ive answered my own question. Not endemic?
“Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.”

Samuel Ullman
Davidthomas
Posts: 933
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:05 am

Re: Grey Duck Breeding Programme

Postby Davidthomas » Sat Dec 29, 2018 4:43 pm

They’re at minimum an endemic subspecies, at most an endemic species. But no no one really cares, which seems a bit ridiculous given their threat status and how easy it would be to establish a captive population just in case. I believe the big issue being a) finding pure birds with no introgression and actually catching them. And b) where do you put them? Mallards are everywhere from Fiordland through to the far north and all of the offshore islands including the Chathams. So they don’t really have anywhere to go.

However you do still see a reasonable number of lure birds about, especially in far Fiordland, and higher alpine areas. So they’re out there. Just gotta hope mallards don’t expand into their last remaining habitat.
Jim_j
Posts: 509
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 1:04 pm

Re: Grey Duck Breeding Programme

Postby Jim_j » Sat Dec 29, 2018 7:57 pm

Yes a tricky one - I would have thought a good option would be a "controlled breeding" programme at one of the fenced sanctuaries. Removal of mallards/cross breeds and constant introduction of greys (egg replacement and captive release) probably ongoing forever....
I imagine there is a particular habitat where greys have a competitive advantage - it would be finding, establishing and maintaining that niche...
Cheers Jim
Jake
Posts: 114
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2015 11:53 am

Re: Grey Duck Breeding Programme

Postby Jake » Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:50 pm

Following some duck shooting pages on Facebook reveals some very convincing greys still being shot. I feel that the Fish and Game guys that do the annual banding would be a good source of stock. Flight-restriction and moving them to large, private pens would be the way to go in my opinion. I personally would be very interested in getting a pair or three for breeding purposes. Members of Ducks Unlimited used to hold some good birds

Return to “General Birding Discussion”